Patricia Cornwell does one sort of writing very well indeed: She writes mysteries about murders where the solution depends on forensic exams. In her early novels, she stuck to these, and those books were really good. They weren’t great literature, but they were interesting, they were page turners, and they were informative.
Later, she started trying to do a lot of other things in her novels – like write about relationships or about psychological states – and the farther she got from just telling the case the less enjoyable her books were. But every once in a while I give her another chance. Unfortunately, The Scarpetta Factor is very much “new” Cornwell. I didn’t finish it.